Call them desk pedals, desk cycles, under desk pedals, or desk ellipticals. Whatever you choose, all of these devices require a little upfront effort to get properly situated for comfortable, productive, and ergonomic use at a desk. This article brings you some expert tips based on our review staff’s experience testing various devices in the desk cycle category.Don’t Hit Your Knees
By far, the most common complaint you’ll hear from new desk cycle users is banging their knees against the bottom of their desks. If there isn’t enough clearance under the desk, you can expect to develop some sore kneecaps. Obviously, this issue is going to plague taller individuals especially, and [...]
The FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical competes with the likes of the Cubii, the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer, and the j/fit Under Desk Elliptical Trainer, among other under desk elliptical units we’ve reviewed. In the case of the Cubii, that means being compared with a true office fitness product with "smart" capabilities like sending exercise stats directly to an app on your phone via a Bluetooth link.
Most other under desk ellipticals are positioned first as trainers for cycling enthusiasts who want to beef up their quads while watching TV. They can then be adapted to under-desk use while working at a computer, with varying [...]
The Stamina InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer entered the market for under desk pedal units in December 2015. That means it’s competing with the likes of the Cubii and the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical, to name but two of the dozen units we reviewed in our most recent round-up (see our Desk Cycle Comparison Review). To stand up to the competition, it has to have an answer to the Cubii’s Bluetooth-enabled app integration, or at the very least, to the FitDesk’s solid engineering.On the Bright Side
There are a few positive [...]
Long story short, the Stamina Compact Strider is a kind of desk elliptical. It is a sister (or more like a fraternal twin) to the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer. Since we already published our Elliptical Trainer review, we won’t spend too much time looking at the Compact Strider, as their differences are entirely cosmetic. But, just like the elliptical model, we are fundamentally concerned with the Compact Strider's durability issues.
This is because in all essentials, the two products are the same. According [...]
Judging by the relatively smaller number of customer reviews on Amazon as compared to its peers, the j/fit Under Desk Elliptical is the least proven in the marketplace at this time. (Compare to thousands of customer reviews for the Stamina Under Desk Elliptical Trainer.) The unit has rallied a four-star rating on Amazon so far, which, for this product category, is not terribly impressive (read about the true meaning of Amazon star ratings). We’ve only seen [...]
The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike may not be an ideal cycle desk, but it does have a few redeeming qualities when stacked up against the competition. We point to its sturdy steel frame, for instance, or its relatively light weight (21 pounds). It also features an LCD display with calories, time, speed, distance, etc., which many users may appreciate. But even with the positives, we have concerns about using this unit under your desk.For Desk Use, Elliptical Beats Mini Exercise Bike
We have to dock this mini exercise bike some points right out of the gate for having a circular pedal motion. The circular motion is tougher on the knees than an elliptical. [...]
There’s no doubt the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike is a solid piece of equipment that fulfills its express purpose well. Problem is, that purpose is not to function as a pedal exerciser underneath your desk. If you’re considering the MagneTrainer for your workstation, you’ll be doing the equivalent of putting a shoe on the wrong foot. That’s because the MagneTrainer is fundamentally designed for use in the medical world, at therapy clinics and adult homes, not the office.Height Trouble
The MagneTrainer's high resistance levels help it in the clinic, but other features make it a poor performer in the office. For one, [...]
In every product category, it seems there’s a product that comes in as an ultra-budget option, beating the competition in terms of price and, well, not much else. That’s what we have here with the Stamina InStride Folding Cycle. But before we levy our judgment, it’s only fair to note that this is a folding cycle and may be competing in a bit of different domain; it's ultra-portable and pitched as a traveling companion as well as a desk partner. We’re reviewing desk cycles in terms of their applicability to office fitness, so we’re looking [...]
When the LifeSpan C3 Bike Desk was initially released, many in the office fitness industry wondered about the prospects for this machine—which rumored to have been a pet project of one of the company executives. Introduced at a price of $999, the product has since been gradually marked down to $729 (and still dropping?), indicating a distinct lack of demand for it. Indeed, customer reviews on Amazon amount to a handful—and half of those from people who gave it 3 stars while still returning the unit—while the Lifespan treadmill desks have garnered hundreds over the same timeframe. Again, an indication of a lack of popularity. One contributing reason may be the very low [...]
We put each product through a lengthy review process, beginning with detailed internet research on product specifications and customer reviews, and often times ending with the product in our own labs for in-house testing. That process is detailed in our article, Anatomy of a Review, and we applied it to desk cycles just as we apply to every other product category we undertake.
But no two categories of office fitness products are entirely alike, and the need develops for fresh criteria each time we foray into a new product space. That’s what this guide sets out to articulate; here you’ll find the criteria we used for the desk cycle reviews and bike desk reviews.
To take [...]
The age of the active workstation is upon us. Treadmill desks, bike desks, tilting chairs, and other movement-friendly devices are taking offices by storm. But as the average American worker gets up and off their rear, let’s take a moment to commiserate with the first adopters among us. These brave souls crafted their own treadmill and standing desks. They endured ridicule and difficult assembly because they knew they were doing the right thing for themselves. But now? Their coworker owns a Lifespan rig, and keeps comparing it unfavorably to their first-gen walker.
All is not lost. For those of you feeling [...]